Canadian Government Restructures North American Visa Offices

CIC News
Published: May 31, 2012

The Government of Canada has announced a large restructuring of its processing network in North America. Individuals who plan to submit an application in North America, or who have an application already in process, should be aware of these changes as they may affect processing location.

Closure of the Buffalo Visa Office

The Buffalo, New York visa office will be closed shortly. The office is closed to the public as of 29 May, 2012, and will continue to accept applications that were postmarked on or before 30 May, 2012. As the Buffalo visa office gradually closes its operations, its caseload will be redistributed to other American offices, primarily the Canadian Consulate in New York City.

Visitor visa, study, work permit, and change of status applications that are currently being processed in Buffalo will continue to be processed and finalized at this location.

New Temporary Resident Visa (Visitor) Applications

Persons residing in the US may apply for temporary resident visas at one of the following offices: New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Seattle, or Washington DC.

New Study or Work Permit Applications

Individuals who require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) and intend to work or study in Canada must apply to the Canadian visa office responsible for their place of residence.

Persons residing in the US east of the Mississippi River, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, or St. Pierre et Miquelon should submit their work or study permit applications to the New York City visa office.

Persons residing in the US west of the Mississippi River should submit their work or study permit applications to the Los Angeles visa office.

Foreign nationals in Canada with visitor status who wish to study or work should also apply to either the New York City of Los Angeles visa offices.

Temporary Resident (TRP), Rehabilitation, and Authority to Return to Canada (ARC)

Applications for only a TRP, Rehabilitation, or ARC should be submitted to the visa offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, Seattle, or Washington DC. Cases where this may be applicable are, for example, individuals from a country that is TRV exempt and do not need additional authorization to come to Canada such as a study or work permit.

For individuals who have one of these applications in process, the following may apply:

  • TRP, Rehabilitation, and ARC applications currently in process at the Buffalo visa office will be transferred to Washington DC for further processing
  • TRP, Rehabilitation, and ARC applications currently in process at other visa offices will be completed in those offices

Applications In-Process

For individuals whose applications are currently in processing, one of the following scenarios may be applicable:

  • Applicants who were requested by the Buffalo visa office to submit additional documentation (but have not yet sent that documentation in) should submit directly to the visa office in Washington DC
  • Applicants who sent in requested additional documents do not need to re-send documents to Washington DC. They will be automatically forwarded with the rest of the file.

A brief overview of the restructured network can be seen here (reposted from Citizenship and Immigration Canada):

Visa Office Chart

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